September 17, 2012

Transit marks one year of service to Northern Ariz. U.

Flagstaff, Ariz.’s Mountain Link recently marked one year of bus service, connecting the Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus to the Woodlands Village and Downtown Flagstaff areas.

Also known as Route 10, Mountain Link has proven to be a successful partnership between Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA), NAU and the City of Flagstaff. Since its inception, Mountain Link has served 576,563 riders (as of Aug. 21).

In one year, Mountain Link has become an integral part of Flagstaff’s transportation system, providing a valuable service to residents, students and visitors. Students living off campus now have a safe and reliable way to get to and from classes and to Flagstaff’s commerce and entertainment areas, while residents and visitors can use Mountain Link to access downtown, attend NAU events or connect to other Mountain Line bus routes.

Starting August 27, NAIPTA began meeting the demand for increased Mountain Link service by offering extended weekday hours. Service will extend nearly two hours into the night, with the last bus departing downtown Flagstaff at 10:10 p.m., giving students with late classes a safe transportation option to return to off-campus housing.

“Getting Mountain Link off the ground took an incredible amount of teamwork from the partners on this project, and with a year under our belts, we are pleased that the hard work paid off,” said NAIPTA GM Jeff Meilbeck.

“NAU is committed to offering diverse and reliable options for our students to get to, from, and around campus,” said Dr. Richard Payne, NAU Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life. “After transporting more than half a million people in the inaugural year, Mountain Link is a success story that reverberates beyond our campus and through this entire community.”

The Mountain Link route features a hybrid-electric fleet with high-frequency service that runs every 10 to 15 minutes on weekdays and every 40 minutes on weekends. NAU students ride fare-free with their ID and the fare is the same as the rest of the Mountain Line system for other passengers. The Mountain Link project was funded through a Very Small Starts grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

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